Trusting yourself, even when everyone else does not believe in you, is a virtue that can get you what you want.
When the book The Alchemist was first published in the author’s native country Brazil in 1988, it was a clear failure. No one noticed the book and it only sold one copy in the first week after its release. It took another six months to sell the second book, to the same person who bought the first one! By the end of the year the publisher cancelled the book contract, washed their hands of the whole thing and walked away.
Paulo Coelho, the author, was left alone to face the rejection and make his decision. He could consider it a failure just like how other people viewed it and forget about it. However, he had faith in his book. His trust in himself and faith in what he did propelled him to continue seeking out other publishers. One publisher decided to give The Alchemist a second try. Slowly, through word of mouth it started to sell throughout the year in Brazil.
An American visiting Brazil picked up a copy of The Alchemist and wanted to translate it to English and help Paulo find an American publisher, which turned out to be HarperCollins, one of the top five biggest publishers in the world. It became a spontaneous success, staying on the New York best-selling list for more than three hundred weeks. Suddenly people from all walks of life started reading the book, with Bill Clinton photographed leaving the White House with a copy. Since then it sold over 65 million copies and translated into over 80 languages, and set the Guinness World Record as the most translated book by any living author.
Had Paulo not trust himself, had he not had faith in what he does, had he not stayed persistent despite the failures he would not have been so successful. What does it tell for you and me?
Often times in life we found ourselves alone in our endeavors, such as starting a new business, choosing your favorite college or major, going for your dream job, etc. What are you going to do when other people’s expectations of you is against your own wishes? Do you comply or do you follow your heart? Do you trust yourself and go against the crowd or would you rather take the easier route, especially when what you want to do is considered out of your comfort zone?
Back in 2004, I was a junior in a college in Beijing, China. I came from a poor farming family and rarely went out of my village and my town until college. I was lucky enough to have stepped into the door of the college that I was in, because my entrance score was the lowest except for a few students with special talents.
With hard work and strong determination, I decided to change my fate by going to the United State for advanced education. I was laughed at. My classmates who also wanted to come to the US were from well-educated families who had been building their American dream since elementary school. And there was me, the first college student in my family in generations who was so naïve and average. The odds were against me, I had average college scores without any lab experiences which was expected of my major, biology. From all aspects, my chances of success were slim to none. All I had was a strong faith in myself.
I made promise to myself that even if I failed I would not regret it because I had tried. With that strong determination, backed up with the trust and faith in myself I conquered many ordeals along the journey, including living in an underground apartment that was dirty, damp, and crowded.
I was desperate and at the end of my rope. Fortunately, the Universe presented me the right people at the right time. As I was reaching out to people in 2004, a kind US professor happened to be briefly visiting Beijing and wanted to interview me! This seeming coincidence was the turning point of my success and eventually led me to the only University I applied to in the US in 2005, right after I graduated from college in China. I persisted where my classmates gave up, and I became the only one my a class of 80 students who succeeded to PhD study in the US in my school year. Without trusting in myself and faith in what I did I would not have been where I am today. It takes great courage to trust yourself and have faith in what you do, especially when it is against the mainstream.Trusting yourself and having faith in what you do enables you to follow your true heart’s desires. Your trust and faith is the source of your passion, the ignition of the fire, and the fuel for your motivation. Click To Tweet
Trusting yourself and having faith in what you do enables you to follow your true heart’s desires. Your trust and faith is the source of your passion, the ignition of the fire, and the fuel for your motivation. Sometimes it may seem like you are taking a risk especially if what you do is against other people’s expectations of you, but deep down you are determined to do what you do and you believe that it is a good deed.
Why is trusting yourself and having faith in what you do so important? There are three ways it helps you achieve your goal, even if it seems extremely unlikely in the beginning.
1. An unrelenting trust in yourself provides you with the momentum to start
In chemistry, activation energy is a term used to describe the minimum energy required to initiate a chemical reaction. Starting an endeavor is like a chemical reaction, you need enough motivation to get started. Following your heart’s desires and trusting yourself provides the momentum to start your endeavor. It ignites the fire in you.
Paulo would not have had the courage to start seeking publishers had he not had faith in his book after the first publisher cut him off. I would not even think about coming to the US had I not had strong faith in myself despite what was expected of me.
The truth is, it is not the difficulty of the endeavor that stopped you from achieving success, often times it is doubt, the lack of trusting and faith in yourself, that stops you from even starting. Having that trust and faith in yourself will help you dissolve the fear that’s preventing most people from embarking on achieving their goals. The beginning is the hardest, an unrelenting trust in yourself provides you with the momentum to start, which is the most important part of your journey.
2. Trusting is the fuel to keep you going until the completion of your endeavor
In whatever you do more likely than not you are going to come across roadblocks, obstacles, and challenges that seem bigger than you. The trust in yourself and the faith in what you do provide you with inexhaustible energy that allows you to overcome the difficulties and carry out your endeavors to full completion, no matter how much effort is required.
If you are following other people’s expectations of you and doing things you don’t feel deep connections with, you may run away at the first sight of frustrations. You won’t have the fuel to tide you over until things become easy and smooth. With trust and faith in yourself and what you do you will never give up in face of any challenges. You are persistent, deliberately seeking solutions to overcome obstacles and won’t settle until your mission is accomplished.
3. When you trust yourself the Universe will help you in unexpected ways
Not only that you won’t give up and take persistent actions when you trust yourself and have faith in what you do, the Universe will help you as well. As is said in The Alchemist, “When you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you.” It is manifested in Paulo’s success, without the visiting American accidently picked up his book and brought it to the English world it would not have the massive success it has today. Had the Universe not helping me bringing the right people, a kind US professor, at the right time I would not have made a rare dream come true.
When you trust yourself and have faith in what you do the Universe gives out helping hands, in the form of coincidences and good luck. Why is it so? When you follow your heart’s desires stemming from trust and faith in yourself you are actually doing the things that you are destined to do. You are following the callings by the Universe, so why wouldn’t you get help from the Universe? In addition, you are so in tune to receive divine help when you follow your inner callings. You are never alone in your endeavor.
So follow your heart, trust yourself and have faith in what you do, with your unrelenting persistent effort the Universe will help you bring your endeavor to success, no matter how unlikely it seemed in the beginning.
4. Trust is the source of your self-confidence
Self-confidence is an individual’s trust in his or her own abilities, capacities, and judgments, or believe that he or she can successfully face day to day challenges and demands (Psychology Dictionary Online). When you trust and have faith in yourself, you gain sure confidence. You will throw yourself into your endeavor full-heartedly without any doubt. If you are following other people’s expectations of you instead of your true desires you won’t have the trust in yourself and what you do, you will be uncertain and you lack self-confidence. Knowing that you are doing what you have great faith in provides the source of your self-confidence. You don’t know for sure whether or not what you do will pan out, but you have the self-confidence in your endeavor each and every step along the way, and that makes a huge difference in the outcome.
Starting today, trust yourself and do things that you have faith in. Have faith in yourself and what you do, even when everyone else does not believe in you, is a virtue that can get you what you truly want. It provides you with passion, self-confidence, and inexhaustible energy to overcome any challenges and helps you accomplish your endeavor. In addition, you will meet with good luck delivered by the Universe.
Do you have stories of where you followed your inner callings, trusted yourself and had faith in what you did that led you to success? I would love to hear your inspirations!